Sooo my little bro is getting married...Do I HAVE to act happy?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by painterZ, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. painterZ

    painterZ New Member

    My little brother is 30 years old and has been dating a 25 year old since July of 2007. She's cute, sweet, and her humor even fits in with our bizarre family but I am against marriage. I only see anger, pain, madness, and destruction of self where marriage is concerned. YES I was and still am angry about everything that happened in what was supposed to be my marriage, but my other brother and sister are married and have been for years and years, my parents are still married too, they all seem happy where they are but I'm conviced they'd be happier apart. My bro knows I won't be happy about it because I've frequently told them to continue living together, even have children but please DON'T GET MARRIED. I just know their giddiness and love with turn to hate and misery. I don't even know if they have a month in mind in which to get married, I got "the news" through an e-mail and a tc that I missed. Obviously these are grown adults I'm talking about. I have NOTHING against my bro's girlfriend and in this world that's saying something. I am, however, so, so sad. I don't want to be involved in finding gowns, and showers, and God-forbid to be a bridesmaid (I won't even bring that subject up again). Of course I'll be there for my bro by showing up and such, but is it really necessary to act happy when everyone knows how I feel?

    Big sigh...

  2. kjade

    kjade New Member

    I'm sorry this is making you feel so badly. I don't think it is necessary to act happy - I mean you don't need to jump up and down and do back flips, but you can congratulate them, and leave it at that.

    But I know how you feel. When someone in my family gets really "happy" news, it sort of depresses me. It's not that I'm not happy for them, because I really am...But I tend to think of my own life, and why I am feeling miserable. (now that I wrote that, it makes me sound selfish - I never realized that).

    Since they are grown adults (if they were 18 yrs old I would worry more) they are probably making the best decision for themselves, and if they are happy, that is all that matters. At least you like your future SIL, right? You two could turn out to be the best of friends (like me and my SIL - I talk to her more than my own brother!!). And maybe you will have a little niece/nephew around to love.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, although it may be depressing to you, try to look on the bright side of things.

    Oh, and hopefully, for your sake, the bridesmaid's gowns have improved a little since I got married!!
  3. dononagin

    dononagin New Member

    You know, I've done nearly 500 weddings in the last 11 years that I have been in the business. My bride this weekend is horrified that her family is going to screw up her special day because they aren't supportive of her decision. I see this all the time.

    This is thier special day, and they deserve to have people at thier wedding who love them and support thier decision to try and share thier life with someone they love.

    I understand your sentiment.. but there is really no bigger bummer than to have someone there who obviously disaproves or isn't happy for them.

    I've seen brides making the wrong choice and have had to bite my tongue to be a professional. But I've seen so many that are happy. I just did a 50th wedding anniversary last week that was just so sweet.

    Yes, alot of marriages fail. My first did. But some make it! Try not to rain on thier parade. I mean I don't expect you to dance on the tables or anything, but just try to be supportive on his very special day. He will know you are 'acting' but I can just about guarantee that he will apreciate that you went through the effort to not put a damper on his wedding.

    Just words from a wedding planner.. hoping it will be an easier day than you imagine and that your brother finds happiness..

    Hugs and hopes for a wonderful day for you all...
  4. stick2013

    stick2013 Member

    I was married ONCE!!!! It ended, I swore I would never do it again. I haven't!!! I would never do it again. I personally had a bad experience. I think marriage SUCKS! I am glad I live alone, I have the remote to myself. No dirty socks or undies on the floor to pick up. No one to clean up after. So many pluses being single.

    Would I ever NOT be happy for someone else getting married. NO!!! I would be glad for them, and I would show it. I would be happy that they have the love of their life and are happy. I would rejoice in the fact that these two people love each other and are happy.

    Then I would go home and remind myself that I too am happy. For me and what I want and have. It's just a little different form others.
  5. painterZ

    painterZ New Member

    I just wanted to acknowledge you for taking time to respond. At the moment I am really struggling and am unable to come up with and responses.


  6. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    You wrote, "I only see anger, pain, madness, and destruction of self where marriage is concerned. YES I was and still am angry about everything that happened in what was supposed to be my marriage, but my other brother and sister are married and have been for years and years, my parents are still married too, they all seem happy where they are but I'm conviced they'd be happier apart."

    I don't know all of your history, but I'm assuming you had an unhappy marriage that didn't work out. That doesn't mean your younger brother's marriage wouldn't work out.

    I think you need to really look inside of yourself and find the reason for your sadness.

    Is it that you are jealous on some level of his happiness?

    Is it that since your marriage didn't go well, you assume your brother's won't go well either?

    Are you still bitter about your marriage and just don't want to be reminded of your own wedding?

    I don't know, only you really know the answer to your sadness that your brother is getting married.

    I don't know what you have been through, but it seems to be very close to the surface of your emotions.

    If you feel that you can't participate in the wedding arrangements and bridesmaid stuff, I think I'd tell your soon to be SIL that it is just too painful for you----and you don't want to ruin her special day. That you will gladly come to the wedding, but will pass on the other stuff because it reminds you so much of your own wedding and it still hurts. Tell her you are really looking forward to having her in your family and you just don't want to ruin anything for her because you feel sad about your own marriage.

    I think you need to say something to your brother and his fiance. SOMETHING is still very hurtful and raw about your own marriage. I pray you can separate out your own feelings from the happiness of their special day. You don't want to ruin it for them. Anyway, that is just my opinion. I don't know all the details that brought you to the conclusion that people would be happier if they weren't married.

    How do you "just know that their giddiness and love will turn to hate and misery"? I think you are projecting your feelings and experiences about your marriage onto their marriage. You are assuming that their marriage will follow the same path as your marriage. Life isn't that predictable.

    Yes, I do think it is really necessary to act happy at their wedding. It is THEIR special day and it is your brother getting married. You can go back to bahumbug after the reception, but please don't ruin their special day. I really don't believe that is what you want to do, but your own emotions and experiences seem to be leading you down that pathway.

  7. jmq

    jmq New Member

    I totally understand your feelings...and it sounds like you have shared these opinions with him. That being said...if you love your brother, you will be happy for him. If the marriage works or his decision and he obviously is mature enough to take this step. What was a disaster for you may actually work out for him.

    I have been happily married for 25 years. I hope you can put you feelings aside and go with the flow and enjoy his happiness. It is the greatest gift you can give him.

  8. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    have you considered how you are making everyone feel.

    Marriage does work for some people. I had two unhappy marriages, luckier on my third but still wouldn't want to ruin it for other people.

    This is a happy occassion for your brother and his bride, why spoil it for them.

    You ask if its necessary to act happy? YES IT IS NECESSARY TO ACT HAPPY - if you love your brother and family then allow them to have a HAPPY DAY.

    Their happiness might rub off on you and you might even enjoy yourself. Hope you do.

    [This Message was Edited on 02/15/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/15/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/15/2008]
  9. painterZ

    painterZ New Member

    I still don't know how I'm just supposed to "be happy for him", everyone should know things just don't happen that way. Yep, my marriage sucked, I was abused and mislead, at marriage counseling he said he never even loved me that I was "just convient", now the idiot is up on pedophile charges, but that's another story entirely. I'm not an idiot, I know some marriages work, I even stated that my brother's, sister's and parent's marriages are all intact and functioning. Still, he's my baby brother, I want to protect him. I don't know, there probably is more to what's going on for me. I CAN support them in their decision and I think it's probably a good idea to tell them that I just can't handle wedding planning. The truth is I have post traumatic stress disorder and a huge part of it stems from my marriage. I can't just get over it.

    I thank those of you who used gentle gloves with me to give me your suggestions and personal experiences with marriage. I am not so sure why some of you chose to be, what I felt as being harsh. I don't believe that I've done anything wrong.


  10. stick2013

    stick2013 Member


    You are not supposed to just get over it(PTSD) Apparently the wedding is triggering memories for you. Ok, you need to remember a few things.
    1) You are safe.
    2) this is NOT your marriage.
    3) You are in the here and now.
    4) the only one you can control is YOU!!!!

    You also probably are not dealing with the trauma that you went through when you were married, thus you are having issues still about marriage.

    You deal with the trauma by FACING it, not covering it up, or running from it. How do I know this???? I too have PTSD, and have worked my butt off to get where I am today. I no longer suffer from flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, panic, agoraphobia, eating disorders, ect, ect, ect. Am I perfect. No way, but so much better than before.....

    Go to the wedding and try to remember the things I mentioned.
  11. dononagin

    dononagin New Member

    Gosh Painter..

    I went through PTSD related to an abusive childhood and an abusive first marriage. It's tough. It took me three years of therapy (complete with hypnosis and inner-child work) to get the point that I can live my life without panic attacks and without being a risk to myself. Not an easy road and I still know I have to listen to my body, breathe, use self affirmations, meditation etc. to keep myself on track. I don't think anyone really understand PTSD unless they have lived through it. It was truly a horribly scary part of my life.

    Painter, listen, whatever you decide to do I hope things work out for you. Be gentle with yourself.

  12. Crispangel66

    Crispangel66 New Member

    Hi, I am one who is totally for marriage, I have been very hppily married for 20 almost 21 years. I hope that your brother and his wife have a very good marriage. Good luck to them. I am also a Christian so we believe that people should get married. I hope you will be able to deal with them being married. Good luck to you Crispangel
  13. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    If my post upset you, I'm sorry. I didn't know about your PTSD. May I suggest that you give this information in the future when the PTSD is the epicenter of what is causing your stress.

    Your post makes alot more sense now that you have told us this. I kept thinking, "there is a big piece of the puzzle missing here." Now, I know what that big puzzle piece is, your PTSD.

    Do you want me to delete my other post? Just let me know if you want me to.

    Are you seeing a therapist or counselor for this? Your post sounds as if you are very wounded. Soft hugs. Joyfully
  14. painterZ

    painterZ New Member

    out of what has happened to me. It's not because they wouldn't try to be supportive, its just that 1) their ideas of support don't really provide what I need and 2) I just am embarressed and ashamed about so much. It was kind of the same thing about my post here, I asked for opinions without giving some light into what's truly going on with me. I apologize for that. No, Joyfully, PLEASE don't delete your post, I sincerely appreciate everyone's imput even though I labled some responses as being harsh. That's been the great thing about this site, I felt Ok saying that and ya'll responded. I need various points of view, I was just saying what I felt. It's also kind of hard sometimes because you can't "hear" how someone is speaking to you. I hope you really understand that I value my friendships with you guys and know that we can always talk things through. Oh, I am in therapy, mostly for D.I.D. (dissociative identity disorder) and I've been working a lot on issues involving my upcoming trial and child custody, but discussing my brother's wedding might take precidence next week :)

    Tonight is my Dad's Surprise 75th Birthday. I've actually been sick the past few days with flu-type stuff, but I'm going to try my hardest to go. I'm also going to check up on my little bro and see what kind of rock he planted on her finger...he's actually got good taste so I'm sure he did just fine :)

    Once again thanks to you all!

  15. kjade

    kjade New Member

    I hope my reply was not upsetting to you. I was trying to cheer you up a little bit.

    I can completely relate to you. Our situations are just a little different though. I actually have a happy marriage (most of the time). It is the weddings I hate.

    This is because my wedding was completely ruined by my parents because of their hatred toward eachother. It is a loooong story, and I won't go into that, but let me just say the police were at my wedding; my mom and maid of honor disappeared while I was standing there ready to walk down the aisle; the priest had to intervene at the reception; there was actual physical violence from older adults outside.....need I go on?

    I was the first of my friends and family to get married. You would think coming from a divorced home would make me never want to get married. For me it was the opposite. I dreamed about a huge fairy tale wedding from the time I was a little girl. I was actually engaged at 19 (he turned out to be a big loser and really damaged me). I met my husband now when I was 22 and we have been together since.

    About the weddings though - when I have to go to a wedding, I get so depressed and sick to my stomach because of what happened at my wedding. I watch everyone acting so happy, and I get very jealous that I didn't have that kind of day. My brother's wedding was the hardest. I was in that wedding. I had just had a baby, so I felt very fat, and like a stuffed sausage in that gown I had to wear. I was very self-concious cuz all the other girls were skinny and beautiful.

    I have PTSD too and panic disorder. Well, I had a major panic attack at his ceremony, because it was very hot, and I had to be in the front of the church in front of everyone. I ended up walking out of the church before they even did their vows. I was humiliated. And I felt soooo terrible. They didn't seem to care, but I still felt like a total fool and I hated myself.

    Then at the reception, my parents got along GREAT!! They even DANCED together and were announced together. That cut me so deeply, you have no idea. They couldn't get along for ME, but they did for him. I won't keep going on and on, but I just hate weddings anymore.

    I think (after reading the rest of this thread) that your issues are about your own marriage, and I completely understand why. I just don't know what advice to give you to help.

    I do think you are feeling a little better now - I could tell in your last statement about seeing the "rock" he put on her finger. I hope you have a nice time at dad's party. Celebrate him and try to have fun. Be kind to yourself.

    PS: SORRY for the length!
  16. painterZ

    painterZ New Member

    Oh my Lord, how horrible it must have been for you on your wedding day. I completely understand how that affects your view on weddings of others. You know something actual wedding was even snowed which I hoped was the before and after the wedding that was miserable. And I definately understand how it must have been for you to have a panic attack during your brother's wedding. I had the same thing happen at two of my ex's friends weddings. OMG, my ex was sooooo mad because I "made a scene". It is nice to know you enjoy your current marriage. I'm trying to really grasp that, but I'm not there yet. I plan on "stopping by" my bro's house later this week and just saying to the both of them that I support them, but that I'm having issues and I'll do my best. I'm not sure what else I can do.

    My Dad was questionably surprised. My uncle mistakingly went to my Dad's house with a huge gift and yelled "Where is everybody?" My Mother rushed him out of the house saying they were late for dinner (while whispering, "the party is at your niece's house"). My family is so goofy, but they make me laugh a lot :)

    Thanks for taking the time to check in with me. I really do appreciate it.

  17. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    Responding directly to your original post - Yes, I do think you have to at least try and look happy, in spite of how you feel about marriage, or your own past experiences with it. This is the most important day in your brothers life so far. So for a few hours at least, you have to plaster on a smile and say all the expected stuff.

    But I truly think that when the day comes and you are there in the moment, you WILL be happy for your brother without having to fake it. You will see the joy in their faces, and the mood of the crowd will rub off on you. Weddings are happy and festive. Plus, there's good cake!

    It's just new to you now, and you haven't had time to process it all yet. I don't blame you for not wanting a part in the gown hunting, shower throwing, brides-maiding, and all the other trimmings. I wouldn't either at this point in my life. Showing up to a wedding is enough of a chore for me.

    I am sorry to hear what a lousy marriage you had. It sounds like you are lucky to be free of that guy! From what I know of you from discussions here, you were WAY too good for him! A neat and intelligent person like you deserves much better. I am happy for you to be rid of him. I hope that with time you can heal from the emotional damage he caused you.

    Yeah, tell your brother and future SIL you are not up to helping with the wedding planning, emotionally or physically. They will understand that.

    Then when the big day comes, help them start off in a positive way with congrats, best wishes and a big smile. Because they might just have that perfect, fairytale, happy forever kind of marriage. And later, if problems do arise, you can be there for him with an experienced shoulder.
  18. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    Wow. Mean spirited and immature? That was harsh.

    I don't think this is mean spirited behavior. Painters reaction is based on the trauma and abuse she suffered in her own loveless marriage. She didn't cop this attitude just to be hateful. Yeah, she has some issues to work through. Big ones. But she has time to pull it together before the wedding. She just got the news and hasn't had time to come to grips with it yet. It won't be easy, but I think my buddy PainterZ will be there sharing the joy with her brother when the time comes. At least on the outside.

  19. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    Wait, I didn't say anyone was immature. I said it was harsh to call another poster mean-spirited and immature. But I see now that she said it "sounded" mean spirited....which is a little different. As in, her words sound mean-spirited to others.

    I was simply saying that PainterZ is not really mean spirited. Perhaps she is just verbally venting because of all the personal hell she went through in her own marriage. I'm trying to understand the deeper reason for her negative reaction to what should be good news.

    Maybe she just needed to vent her fears. She supports their decision, but is still afraid for them. She can't help the way she feels. Her marriage destroyed her.

    Sometimes we come here to this board to share our innermost feelings. You know, the kind of stuff you don't say in person. The darker inner thoughts. "Is it wrong of me to feel this way...?" And maybe they are just looking for understanding.

    What we need is someone who has been through this kind of thing, and overcame it.

    PVlady, I apologize. You have been through your own personal hell with your stepdaughter and are seeing this from the other side of the fence. You are trying to help PainterZ see how negativity can hurt a family.

    But I think the situation is different. Your stepdaughter wanted to be mean, she refused to accept you. PainterZ doesn't WANT to feel this way, but she can't help it. She is at least trying to face her feelings though.

    I don't mean to cause any hard feelings any more than the rest of you. I am sorry for any harshness I may have caused of my own. I just think PainterZ needs some propping up through this. It's going to be hard for her, and she may need some support to get through it with a smile.

    Painter, your feelings are understandable. You just need to shift the focus off yourself and onto the fact that the happy couple IS happy. And if you feel like shredding white lace or stabbing someone with a wedding cake topper, you can vent here.
  20. Granniluvsu

    Granniluvsu Well-Known Member

    I have been reading your post on and off since you posted and at first, I thought why is she (you ) feeling that way when her brother is wanting to get married. It did SOUND like a terrible thing to be feeling at first before I found out all the abuse you have had to take in your marriage..

    Most of the people here have given you some very good advice so I am not going to try to give you any more. I am not sure of what else to say but somehow I think you will do the right thing and go to the wedding for your brother and family.

    That is a good idea that someone mentioned to tell them upfront that you cannot participate is some of the events (if you really think that you cannot do so) because of some of the events with your past marriage. I think they should understand that especially your brother if he loves you like I am sure he does).

    I understand abuse as one of my daughters went through 15 years of mental abuse which is just as bad a the physical. They are now divorced and she is planning on getting married again to another man that she knew from High School days. He loves her and her boys so much. He does more for the boys than their dad sometimes. He, her x, is one of those very convenient and lazy guys who can drink to much.

    If you are getting any kind of therapy you could try and work on the things that are really bothering you.

    I think my daughter felt somewhat like you did before she really starting getting serious with her boy (man friend) about 40 yrs.old, like my daughter, I am sure. Their story, with her dh is another mess I won't get into.

    God bless you hon , I know you will do the right thing. You sound alot stronger than you think you are.

    Blessings and lots of hugs,

    [This Message was Edited on 02/17/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/17/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/17/2008]

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